Reaction Videos: I Like To Watch (Other People Watching)
For a long time, my YouTube subscriptions were fairly predictable for me. Basically, I subscribed only to ASMR channels, Taylor Swift, Micarah Tewers, and a vlogger in rural China who makes videos with titles like “The golden season is full of the joy of harvest and the sweetness of corn.” But then for some mysterious reason, I started watching reaction videos. Now I can’t stop.
As Near As I Can Figure: How I Started Watching Reaction Videos
Again, I’m not actually sure what got me started. If I had to make a guess, though, then I’d say Game of Thrones. As with some other shows, mostly the Shondaverse, I was an avid follower of the live tweet hashtags during the episodes. I really like seeing people’s reactions in real time. Somehow then I stumbled upon a compilation of GOT reactions, and I was hooked. I especially liked group videos.
I watched a lot of videos from Sean TankTop, for instance. He posts videos from Chicago’s Burlington bar, which hosts watch parties. (Or they used to, back when we weren’t in a panini.)
But then, of course, Game of Thrones mystifyingly went off air without ever showing a final episode. I started watching other shows, like The Boys (see Shah’s review of the second season finale here), and that led to a world of other reaction channels. There’s no great science behind it. I just enjoy watching other people watch stuff. Maybe I like it for the same reason I read reviews–it helps me clarify my thoughts on something that I also consumed. Or maybe it’s just fun to see how other people react to shocking scenes.
So here are some of my favorites.
Mostly TV Reactions
Note: While many of these channels cover TV, movies, and even video games, I’m categorizing each one based on my primary draw to each channel.
Nikki & Steven React: Nikki and Steven are a California-based married couple. They mostly react to TV shows, hence their placement here. However, I recently watched them react to 30 Days of Night, a movie that is MUCH gorier than I recall. Also fairly recently, I enjoyed watching them watch their way through the thrills and chills of Ozark. Anyway, I like them especially for their humor and the fact that Nikki and I get emotional at the same stuff.
Dos Cavazos: Anthony and Kacee are another married couple slash reaction channel I watch. They post a lot of reactions to animated stuff, like anime and Rick and Morty, if you’re into that. I don’t really watch a whole lot of animation, though, so I’m on their channel more for things like The Boys, Cobra Kai, and The Haunting series. I also appreciate the sound adjustment on their videos. Some channels (none in these lists) don’t do that, and practically blow out my speakers (and my eardrums) with their screaming.
Blind Wave: A varying crew of guys and a few ladies comprise the watchers on this channel. Their content is the most diverse of the channels I watch–along with reactions, they have video game play-throughs. But I tune in to watch them watch shows like Lovecraft Country. In addition, I just started watching Lucifer, so I’m looking forward to catching their reactions, too.
NerdGuyProductions: This is one of the smaller channels I watch, but I think it’s a gem. The Nerd Guy plays games and does reviews, but I like his eclectic taste in shows for reactions. For example, he just started watching Euphoria, which is going to be a ride. (I love the show, but maybe not as much as our Meghan. If you listen to an upcoming episode of our podcast (the latest being the best way to watch TV), then you can find out how many times she’s watched it. If you listen to the current episode, then you can hear me do an impression of Karen Black. Either way, you win.)
Channels For Movie Reaction Videos
Cinema Rules: I found Shaun and Tom, the two lads behind this channel, when the YouTube algorithm recommended them. At the time, they were posting their reactions to horror movies they were watching for the first time, and they charmed me instantly. Their reactions are always so big and so funny to me. (But they don’t just watch horror. They’re currently working their way through a list of sci-fi, for instance.)
image via Cinema Rules
Brandon Likes Movies: What can I say about the soft-spoken sweetheart behind this channel? His name is Brandon (I guess), he never curses, and he seems to love everything he watches. I practically vibrated with delight watching him watch the season finale of The Mandalorian, one scene of which he described as “dang majestic.” This channel is probably the closest to the old ASMR channels on my subscription list. By that, I don’t mean that it puts me to sleep, but just that I find his videos very soothing. (And despite the title, he also reacts to TV shows.)
So these are the channels for reaction videos I watch most. I hope you check them out. (And if you want to check out the rural vlogger, her name is Liziqi.) Tell me who you like to watch in the comments or on our social media.
featured image via my own YouTube subscriptions page
Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.